Thursday, April 30, 2009

At Daybreak

"At daybreak, LORD, You hear my voice; at daybreak I plead my case to You and watch expectantly." Psalm 5:3


This was yesterday's Bible verse in my Beth Moore "Believing God Day-By-Day" book and I thought it was a beautiful way to begin the day! How blessed are we that we can pour out our hearts to Him every morning with all of our concerns and needs, knowing that our God is in the business of answering prayers! How great is our God?!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ouch!


This is the main reason why I am on the 7-day DL! Ouch! This is my armpit and a very raw radiation burn, aka-a really bad sunburn! It probably wouldn't have gotten quite so raw but stubborn me, kept on running and running (and subsequently rubbing and rubbing) until this week. Gah! In this pic, you can see the scar where they took out my axillary lymph nodes and the little round scar beneath it is where my drain was for almost 3 weeks following surgery. They included this area in my radiation field because I had 5/10 lymph nodes positive for the breast cancer and even though they removed them, they radiate this area to ensure that no "stragglers" are left behind. But I'm BELIEVING GOD and His Word that the radiation "sent the hornet among them until even the survivors who hide from you have perished" Deuteronomy 7:20! Praise Him!
It feels so good to be at home today! Better than I even anticipated. I cooked my kids breakfast, did some laundry, and had some lovely quiet time that I had been missing. This afternoon I am picking the boys up early from school to take Tyler to the dr to have his knee looked at. He's been having some issues with it playing baseball and it has a little knot on it, so we are going to have it checked out. I don't know if we will need to see a pediatric orthopedist or not, but today we will find out. We also need to pick up a new pair of shoes before he leaves tomorrow on a 4-day History Club trip (YIKES!). I still cannot believe that I'm not going! First of all, I'm sending my 13 year old off for 4 days with neither of his parents or any of his grandparents, this is a first and I don't like it. Second, they are going to my very favorite place ever, sorry I won't tell where, but I don't think you should reveal everything on the internet! I am praying a hedge of protection around the 4 boys and 13 girls (um, yeah, I'm not too thrilled about that ratio either!) and all the chaperones as they have a great trip. I know he's excited, but mama-not so much. Pray for me too! I won't breathe easy until he is back home on Sunday!
So back to normal/crazy schedules! Hallelujah! I've missed it and all it's craziness! If I've learned one thing over the last 6 weeks (or 6 months actually) it's to appreciate all these little moments. Every practice, game, load of laundry, and meal I cook means so much more since it has been so interrupted lately.
NOTE FOR THE DAY: Appreciate the every day "tasks" and thank God for them...you never know when they could be taken away.
Have a great Wednesday! Halfway through the week already...yay!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I MADE IT!!

Praise God, I am completely done with radiation!! I am so excited to be sitting here in my own home, knowing that I don't have to get up at the crack of dawn tomorrow morning and go back to STL! We got to my appointment about an hour early this morning because I had to see my dr today also, and they had us in and out of there in no time flat. Awesome! We were in our car and headed home by 10am. All my techs and my dr asked us what we were going to do to celebrate, and we said that we were headed straight home...as quickly as we could get there! Once we got in the car, I felt like I could actually relax for the first time in about 6 weeks. Ahhhhh........ Once again all glory and praise goes to our Awesome God, for completely guiding us through the last 6 weeks. He put the most wonderful techs in my path, I will miss Sarah, Jill, and Karen so much! He gave me the best friends and family to graciously give up their own time and drive me to STL every.single.day. Even though they all have families of their own to take care of at home, they never hesitated to help out. To Kim, Michelle, Jessica, Layne, Mom, LeAnn, Tracy, and my wonderful hubby: I couldn't have asked for more wonderful people to share the miles with. Kim, you are the champ x 12!! I love you all! Mostly, God gave me the strength to make all the trips and still be a wife and a mom, allowing life to be as "normal" as possible. Now, I am praying for rest! Nice, easy, rest!


According to my hubby, I am on the 7-day disabled-list (for those of you who know sports lingo) and am to refrain from running for the next week. Probably a really good idea since I have what amounts to an extremely painful sunburn in my armpit...a lovely parting gift from radiation to the lymph node area. When I went for my outside run on Sunday, I could tell that it was starting to get really raw and running is probably not the best thing for it right now. So, I am going to enjoy my week off (try, anyway!) and let my body heal before beginning again. We'll see how that goes, it's not easy for me to not run! But I'll try.


God bless all of you who kept me in your prayers! I felt every single one lifting me up every day! Thank you so much!



But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10


***I have a very dear friend who has been constantly on my mind for the last 4 days...her 19-year old brother passed away on Saturday. Please remember Jenna and her family in your prayers. John was a remarkable young man and his absence leaves a gaping hole in the hearts of his family and friends, especially his big sis. Please pray that God will bring them comfort and peace throughout this tragedy. We have to remember, that even in times when it seems God cannot be found, He is always there and He is always in control.***

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Final Countdown



I only have 3, yes 3, days of radiation left!!!




I am so excited to be almost done! I feel so blessed to have gotten through the last 6 weeks so easily and quickly. My skin has held up great, a little pink, but nothing major. My radiation techs, Sarah, Jill, and Karen, have been amazing. I will miss them...not the trips to STL, but them yes! I feel so close to having another major step of my treatment behind me and am so thankful for all the family and friends who have so generously helped by driving me to STL every single day! I have had the best girl-gabbing time in the last 6 weeks! teehee!




I'm going to go and do payroll this evening and pack a little bag because tomorrow when I get home, we are headed to our cabin to relax and enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend. It's supposed to be in the 80s! I plan on doing nothing but watching the river flow by. I can't wait! I hope ya'll have a great, relaxing weekend planned, too! God Bless!




Oooh, and check out my hair! It is starting to grow back and I am so excited to see how it looks as it grows out. It is coming in darker than I expected and is so soft. Yay! :-D

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I Am Still Here!

Hello all! Despite what you may be thinking, I am still here! I have been so focused on my radiation that I haven't had one moment to post...sorry! Throw in Easter, kids' schedules, and company bookwork and you have a recipe for overload. Radiation has been going so well. Again, I can't complain. God has guided me to the best radiation team and doctor and everything is going smoothly. We have been crossing off days left and right. Today we got the best news ever, my treatment plan has been shortened by 4 DAYS!!! Praise God!! I guess the total number of days you have radiation is based on a certain number of "rads" that the dr wants you to have, and the average person gets 180 rads a day to the chest wall...she has been giving me 200. So that took four days off my 33, so 29 is my new favorite number! (teehee) Even better, I only have 9, yes single digits here people, 9 left! 9...my second favorite number; I have a feeling that tomorrow it will be 8. :-D I am totally giving all the glory and praise to God for this gift. "Thank you, Jesus! You are AWESOME!"

Since I have been driving, or riding actually, every day I have had to let some of my running go. I just could no longer get up at 430am, have my quiet time, run, get myself and my family ready for the day, and make the trip to STL. Something had to give...running was the most logical choice...duh. So I gave myself "permission" to only run on the afternoons I felt like it and not to push myself and get run down. This week I have only ran twice. I miss it, but it's cool...I'll pick it up again when I am finished.

Exciting news for us over the weekend: I AM GOING TO HAVE ANOTHER NEW NIECE OR NEPHEW THIS FALL!!! My sister, Layne, surprised us with the news that she is due in November! Yes, Ethan is going to be a big brother! We are beyond excited! My parents are getting new grandbabies left and right! Jessica is definitely next...which we reminded her many times over the weekend! ;-)

I hate to copy Jenna, but I am just putting it out there that I am running in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in STL in June. I am BEYOND EXCITED! If anyone wants to help me raise money and donate to a fabulous cause you can visit my fundraising page at:

http://www.komenstlouis.org/site/TR/Race/General?px=1201701&pg=personal&fr_id=1050

Thanks in advance for checking it out! I am looking forward to it so much!

Sorry this is a quick update, but I just wanted to get something out there and let whoever is reading this know that I am hanging in there, doing great, and looking upward and forward. Love ya'll!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Another Element of Normalcy


Katie and I went to church this morning for the first time in 6 months. Yes, 6. Back in September when I was diagnosed, I had so many things swimming around in my head that I really didn’t want to see anybody. I didn’t want to answer the questions, get the looks of pity, or anything…so I basically just became a hermit! It worked out great during treatment because that’s exactly what my doctor wanted me to do…be a hermit-stay away from germs and lots of people (especially since we were in the middle of cold and flu season). But as we are moving further and further away from chemo, I started really missing church and wanting to go back. But I was nervous. What if people still felt sorry for me, what if they wanted to ask more questions, what they treated me different? Those who know me know that the last thing I want is to be treated different or be pitied. But, Praise God, this morning I got neither! People were happy to see us, but nobody was overly gushy or sympathetic. It felt so good to be back. Yet another element of normalcy has returned

…contented sigh…


OK, as for yesterday, it was a crazy busy day. We spent the day at Tyler’s baseball tournament, it didn’t go so well…they lost both games. But on the bright side, it was their first two games of the season…now maybe all the jitters are worked out! And Tyler got to pitch, very exciting! Then we got home so he could get ready for 8th grade prom. He looked so handsome! He and Brianna made such a cute couple…and were even cuter because they are the best of friends. Teehee, can you tell that comes from his Mama?! He had a great time and danced the night away. We had a moment of panic, though. Brianna and her Mom brought him home at 11pm, she was a chaperone. But we had fallen asleep watching basketball (What?!) and when we woke up at 1145pm, everything was just as we had left it: the porch lights were all still on, doors unlocked, alarm not set, living room lights on… Jack wakes me up and says, “Do you think we should call Brianna? Tyler’s not answering his phone.” WHAT?! He’s not home yet?? “Well apparently not, lights are still all on and etc…” I immediately flash-forwarded to my life in just two or three short years when I will be waiting up for him when he’s driving himself home after an evening of hanging out with friends (and probably NO chaperones), worrying about every choice and decision he’s had to make and praying that he has made the right ones. I’m SO not ready for this. But panic over…Jack went and checked his bed and there he was, fast asleep and safe and sound. Apparently we were sleeping when he came in (Oops! Bad parents, here!) and he didn’t want to wake us so he went straight to bed without turning off any lights or whatever.

…another contented sigh… (But it did take me f.o.r.e.v.e.r to fall back asleep!)





View Prom Preparations








Friday, April 3, 2009

One-Third of the Way There!

Well I can officially say that I am over one-third of the way done with radiation!!  Today was treatment #12 out of 33…yay!  I have driven (or rode, actually) every day this week, no staying overnight and it went great.  I was expecting to be beyond exhausted with the trips plus the boys’ ballgames all going on this week, but it wasn’t too bad.  And I was up at 430 every morning to run and completed 40 miles for the week.  I even cooked dinner on the one night we were at home!  (The other nights were game nights.)  But I am totally excited to finish the week strong and only have 21 more left!  Yippee!!

The rest of my weekend consists of:

  • Tyler’s baseball tournament
  • Zachary’s (and Jack’s) youth turkey season
  • Tyler’s 8th grade prom
  • Men’s Final Four games – GO UNC!!!
  • Church Easter Cantata
  • LAUNDRY, LAUNDRY, LAUNDRY!
  • Sleep in  REST

I’m off to begin the “rest” part of the weekend.  Gonna watch the news and wait for my boys to get home and order pizza.  This Mama isn’t cooking tonight!  Enjoy your weekend!